Equal Pay Claims
Equal pay is the legal right for men and women performing equal value work to receive equal pay. Equal pay claims can be raised if an employee believes that a colleague of the opposite sex and in a comparable role has more favourable terms of employment.
The employees do not have to work in the same location for a claim to be raised and the comparative employee can be a current or even former employee.
For employers, dealing with equal pay claims can be difficult, but our specialist employment lawyers can advise and represent employers facing equal pay claims from an employee within their organisation.
What will an employee need to show to bring an equal pay claim?
Equal pay applies to all contractual terms, not just payment. As such, a claim can be brought in relation to terms including:
- Basic pay
- Overtime pay
- Hours of work
- Non-monetary benefits and contractual benefits-in-kind
- Annual leave
- Non-discretionary bonuses and performance-related benefits
What counts as equal work?
For an employee to bring a successful equal pay claim, they would need to show one of the following:
- They perform "like work" with another employee, that is the same or broadly similar in nature. The actual role (and not merely the job description) must be examined to determine whether the roles are the same or if there are any significant differences.
- The work is rated as "equivalent" under a job evaluation survey.
- The work is regarded of "equal value". Although it does not fall under one of the above two conditions and the work may be different, the effort and skill required by people doing different jobs is the same, known as equal value work.
An employee will need to show a tribunal that they are doing "like work" in comparison to someone else but being paid less. As an employer, you must prove that the difference in pay is due to a genuine material factor and not because of sex discrimination. This can be personal characteristics that differ between the two employees or extraneous factors that legally allow a difference in pay.
Can pay differences ever be justified?
This can be complicated to determine since various factors can affect the salary of a particular role, including:
- The qualifications needed for the role.
- The skills and experience required to perform the role correctly.
- Additional demands required of the role, such as working outside of normal office hours.
- How much responsibility the role has (for example, if there is a management element).
Equal pay disputes and obtaining legal advice
If an equal pay claim is successful, the employee will receive a pay increase and can receive arrears of pay or damages that cover years before the date of claim. There are complicated time limits that can apply in these cases, and so it is essential to get legal advice as soon as any issues arise.
Cross-border employment advice
Our specialist employment lawyers understand the difficulties encountered by businesses, particularly those operating across borders. We have offices in the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany and Tunisia and can help organisations overcome the legal and cultural barriers when running a multinational business. Our multilingual lawyers can assist organisations to keep abreast of new international standards and regional laws in areas such as European employment law, which is continuously evolving.
Contact our Equal Pay Claims Lawyers in the UK
Equal pay claims can be complicated and have various repercussions for an organisation. It is important to get legal advice as soon as you become aware that an employee may raise such a claim. Our expert employment lawyers have a wealth of knowledge and experience in this area. They can also advise employers on processes and procedures to make sure they are compliant with the law.
To find out more about how we can help you in these cases, please contact us via the online form ., email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +44 (0)207 183 9482.